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Have you ever seen someone walk into a party that looked scared to death, unsure of themselves, and then watched them slink off to an obscure corner? Their body language screaming, “I wish I was anywhere but here!” Entering a room full of people that you do not know can be intimidating. I get that. Yet, your entrance is important in displaying overall confidence and portraying a strong image.

When attending a party, there are certain expectations we have of our hostess. We will enjoy and appreciate everything she has done, but we do assume there will be food and drinks. We would also like a clean bathroom and a home that does not smell like the local pet store. What some people forget is there are also expectations of the guest.

Giving a party, of any type, requires a great deal of work. If you have been fortunate enough to be included in a festive soiree, it is nice to arrive with a gift for the hostess. The typical present will cost between $15-$30, but there are less expensive things you can find at the local discount store.

Attire: Shabby Chic; Razzle Dazzle; Cowboy Couture


Word to hostesses: when listing the attire on the invitation for your party, make it clear. Do not let your creative thoughts have you writing a description that requires an interpreter.  We do not want to force our guests to solve a riddle to understand what is expected of them. There is a phrase I like to quote, “To be unclear is to be unkind.”

There is something special we feel when we receive an invitation. It is the anticipation of a celebration, the excitement of choosing what to wear, but more importantly, it is the affirmation that tells us, “I was chosen!” We know a hostess has responsibilities to ensure her party is a success, but did you know there are expectations of the guests? And your first job begins when you receive an invitation that says RSVP.

Do you believe there is a creator behind this painting, or did it create itself? I believe if I polled 1,000 people, 100% would say, “Of course, there is a creator. That’s common sense.” Do you believe there is a Creator behind this picture? If I polled 1,000 people with the same question, stats show I would not receive 100% agreement that there was a Creator behind this picture.

People are returning to work, which means many of us will be navigating changes that would otherwise seem mundane. Elevator etiquette? Did you know there was such a thing? Below are 9 basic reminders when riding the lift. I have thrown in a few exceptions while we live in a COVID world. 

Throughout history we have seen God place people in power that made us say, “What is He thinking?” Yet God clearly reminds us in Isaiah that the way He thinks is far beyond what we can sometimes understand. In a child’s eyes, a parent giving her yucky medicine when she already feels poorly can seem cruel. “Why would Mommy make me take this?” The child lives in her “here and now” moment of life, yet the parent sees the big picture. The mother knows what is best for the child, even when the child does not understand. 

Our 4-part series on living as Christians in a political world was written in response to questions I have been receiving on knowing how to separate truth from lies, when to engage in our political system, and the most effective way to stay informed. In Part 1 we learned the biblical formula for seeking truth. In Part 2 we discussed the importance of knowing your foundation. In this post, Part 3, I will provide you with 7 practical tips I use to find truth in our news driven world. 

We are living in a time where many do not know who or what to believe. It seems our national 24-hour news media seeks ratings more than they seek truth (regardless of which way their bias leans). Many journalists receive bonuses based on how many clicks their story receives, and companies earn more advertising revenue if they can show a high click-through rate on articles. It has become too common to read endless bait-and-switch headlines.

“How do I know what is real? How do I know truth when I see it? I want to stay informed, but where do I turn when I feel every news source is somehow deceiving me?”

Giving you tips on hosting a Halloween party during COVID is sure easier than tackling subjects on news, politics, and finding truth. Yet these are the questions filling my inbox. 

Does this blog seem early? Did you know we only have 10 weeks before we move into December? It is time to start planning!
1. Decide how much you can spend. If you have a $500 budget and 10 people you need to give gifts, then you can only spend $50 a person.

Halloween in 2020 will be different than past years, but there are still ways to enjoy this festive start to the holiday season. This blog may seem early, but October 31st is only 7 weeks away! It is time to start planning. Below are my top 10 ideas for a jovial and happy start to your fall celebrations.

  • Cecelia Zook

Roasted Turkey with Field Herbs Taste Test

Happy Foodie Friday! These recipes come courtesy of Penny and Eleazar Martinez.

Each of our Taste Test Reviews comes with the original recipe and the tester's notes/changes listed with the ingredient list in blue. We hope you enjoy!

Such a pretty bird! The Roasted Turkey with Field Herbs was a lovely dish on our family table. It was moist and flavorful, and the aromatic, fresh herbs seeped through the entire turkey. After about an hour and a half of cooking, I added a cup of chicken broth to the pan, tented the turkey with some foil and basted it every now and then. This wasn’t in the recipe, but I think it helped keep the breast especially tender.  The best thing about the recipe is that it was so easy! I had plenty of time to pull together some great side dishes for our gorgeous and tasty dinner. Bring on Thanksgiving, I am ready!

Roasted Turkey with Field Herbs
Download PDF • 2.34MB

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Time: 3.5-4 hours


*1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter

*1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest

*12 sprigs fresh thyme

*6 sprigs fresh sage

*1 cup rough chopped fresh parsley

*1 fresh turkey (10 to 12 pounds) (Make sure to buy your turkey early and give it time to defrost!)

*1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon salt

*1/4 cup black pepper

*1 small yellow onion, cut in quarters

*7 cloves of garlic, crushed

*3 long carrots, cut in half lengthwise


*Preheat oven at 400F.

*Melt the butter on low heat, then turn off the heat and add the lemon zest to the melted butter.

*Remove the giblets out of turkey cavity and discard.

*Arrange the carrot halves across roasting pan.

*Take turkey and sprinkle the salt and black pepper in turkey cavity and rub well to evenly distribute the seasoning.

*Insert all the herbs, onion quarters, and garlic cloves inside the turkey cavity.

*Tie the legs together as tight as possible with kitchen string to securely close the cavity.

*Tuck the wing’s tips under the turkey body, and place turkey on roasting pan making sure it sits nicely on top of the carrots.

*Brush the melted lemon-infused butter all over the turkey and sprinkle a tablespoon of salt all around top of the turkey.

*Place in the oven and roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 400F, then lower oven temperature to 325F and roast for 3 more hours or until internal temperature of thighs read 170F. (After about an hour and a half of cooking, I added a cup of chicken broth to the pan, tented the turkey with some foil and basted it every now and then.)

*Remove the turkey from the oven, place on kitchen countertop, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes.

*Slice the turkey, serve, and enjoy.

Recipe and Taste Tester - Cecelia Zook

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